What Makes You Happy?

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What Makes You Happy

 

I haven’t written in a long time, part of me felt like it was maybe because I’ve been doing better. I haven’t been feeling as depressed. My life had seemingly come together, even if just the slightest. I always told myself that when hockey ended, I was going to become an author, a literary wizard; I was going to write every day now that I had a bit more time. Well, hockey’s been over for about six weeks, and I am just starting to write at 10:56PM Easter Sunday.

Sure, I’ve been busy with things in the meantime, but if anyone knows me, busy, is not an excuse. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find the means to do it. Busy doesn’t exist in my world. It’s not because I don’t ever do anything, in fact, that’s probably quite the opposite. I probably have more going on than most folk. Actually, I could almost guarantee that. I just don’t feel the need to let everyone know how I preoccupied I am. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. It makes me sick when people say they are too busy.

Why? I remember years ago, my sister tried to chat with me through Facebook, through simple Internet chat… and, I recall looking at the messages, the message read something along the lines of hey, call me when you got some time, want to know how college is going. I looked at it, thought, meh; I’ll call her later… I am busy. I never called her. And, I don’t know if I ever talked to her again. She committed suicide a couple of months after, and I’ve never been too busy since.   So when people tell me, they are too busy. It doesn’t sit well. At all.

So, to say that I haven’t been writing, because I have been doing well, or because I have been doing poorly… I don’t even know the answer. Sometimes life has a tendency to just happen, and just leave me trapped in the motions that I just can’t comprehend the appropriate emotions, and feelings.

I know that writing provides me with the single most joyous experiences of my life. So, you would think it’s easier to do so. But… for some reason, it’s been getting more difficult, and for the first time, I feel like my writing is actually good. In the past, all I did was write about how I felt. That’s it. There was no scientific method to it; there was no English specialty behind it. Simply, just how I felt. I have such a difficult time re-reading my pieces, for a variety of reasons… mainly because I feel such a huge disconnect with the person who wrote that very piece, but also because… I think it’s shit. I looked earlier, and I have posted 47 entries to GAB. This being 48. I can honestly say that 1 was of quality, Your Move Chief. So, as much gratification as writing brings me… I don’t know if it’s from the actual writing, or the feedback. As pathetic as this may be, I seek so much approval, and accreditation, from… whomever, predominantly from my mom, and from my fiancé…. It’s pathetic, if I don’t hear anything within a day or so, I am texting those two asking what they thought… It drives me crazy that I do this. But… I do. And, I can probably recap every single compliment, or piece of positive feedback I have received from my blog. There is truly nothing, and I mean NOTHING more gratifying than when I hear about people who have read my blog, and find comfort from reading. Whether, I know them or not. I spend so much time wanting to write, then I spend such little time actually writing, and I conclude with spending even more time looking for approval on my writing. From, my family… my fiancé… my best friends… my friends… strangers… When, I receive this, it’s pure happiness. Joy. Elation. You know that feeling where you just can’t wipe that smile off your face. This is the only time I’ll feel it. So you’d think I’d write more, with this being the case. But, truth is… I think I have become a bit scared. My unrelenting life standards have once again trapped me with failure. Where, I need simple accolades. However, that’s slowed down significantly. I don’t know if it’s because my writing has gotten stale, or the content has. Or maybe, I am just without the random viewers from Europe. Or, perhaps, the people who have already graciously patted my back don’t feel like they need to tell me good job every single fucking time. Though they shouldn’t. However, I feel like, unless I get that… I am failing. I want to know what every single person thinks of my writing, even if they think it’s complete crap. I just want to know… because; I think it is too, I can’t even find myself appreciative, and satisfied with my own work.

So, in getting to the point of this entry… the great folks at Mind Your Mind proposed the question, what makes you happy? I thought about it for a long, long time. There are so many things that I enjoy, so many. But, to label them as something that makes me completely happy would likely be false. I think at any point, doing makes me happy. Regardless, of what it is that I am doing. I think sometimes you can find temporary joy in that, and I do. But, I tried to really think of something that makes me truly happy. True joy. I almost couldn’t think of anything, till I thought about writing, then I thought about all of the positive feedback I have received over the two years, and the people I have been able to help, if even just to help them temporarily. This has brought me pure joy, and continues to do so. It’s the only thing that allows me to feel self-pride, and self worth. Regardless, of the success I have at work, or in coaching sports, or my daily life even. I always seem to be stuck wanting more, and eventually get a place where good just isn’t good enough. But, with writing, that’s different. Even, if I receive two notes about my latest post, to me it was a success, and it provides that feeling. That feeling where I can’t stop but smiling, even if it’s a random stranger at an arena that says, “hey, you’re the guy that writes that mental health blog” … Yes, I guess so. These are the things that keep me ticking, and continue to remind me just what it is to feel joy, and to feel good.

You just hope that somehow you can find a way to enjoy, accept and appreciate your own bravery and work. Sometimes there is just far too much pressure on writing purely for the audience, and hoping to help them find joy, and hope. I need to find my own first.

Rest easy, and rest happily Max. I hope you can still find some time to read my blog, and I hope that you’ve found true joy.   I know you and Jen are hanging out as we speak. Listening to music, watching over us, and laughing at us.

 I wrote this entry about 10 days ago as I was boarding my flight home from Hawaii, It took me awhile to post, but I have finally settled back into my routine at home, and here it is for you to read if you wish!   

 Sitting here, in one those gimmick-y massage chairs that you find in the malls, and airports.  Except, the difference is.  I am sitting in this chair because it remains larger than those plastic chairs in this airport, and without my last american dollar bill, it is still leather.  However, I will not waste my last american dollar on a 3 minute massage that will likely ruin my back within seconds.  So, I will sit here, and allow the thing to blink at me, and tell me to put money into as long as I feel comfortable, and sane. Fortunately there is only 3 people within my visibility of this lengthy hallway, that stretches across about 10 airport gates.  Yes, I am finally leaving my beloved Hawaiian Islands and am returning home, to the real world.  It’s been an exceptionally amazing 15 days in Hawaii.  Having spent 10 days in Maui, and the last 5 days in Waikiki on the island of Oahu with my girlfriend, Amanda. I’ve been fortunate enough to go to Hawaii for extended periods of time the last couple years as well.  However, this year, was different and better then all of the rest, despite my 15 days being the least amount of time I have stayed on the islands.   I know, I’ve been pretty lucky.  But, this time, I was able to spend the first few days in a condo, with my mom, grandparents, my niece and my brother Brody.  All of whom, are people I only see a couple of times a year.  Especially, my grandparents and Abbey.

 It was a different vacation, in our condo we had my grandparents, my mother, my 7 year old niece, and my 13 year old brother, and then myself.  Every person was in a different age bracket, and some in Hawaii for their first ever time.  We of course, all had a different idea of what a holiday looked like, and a few times this resulted in some people being edgier then they would be otherwise, but whats a Courchene get together with a little wit, rift and edge.  Probably not a Courchene gathering, at all!  Nonetheless, It was an awesome couple of days, my brother and I spent most of the time together, walking around, hanging out at the beach, boogey boarding and chucking around a half sized water football that I could chuck better then Elway.  But, just being in the company of some people who are really important to me was above all what made the holiday one that I will never forget.  My mom and brother left about 4 days after my arrival, however, my grandparents and niece stayed another handful of days.  Later in the week, myself, my grandparents and Abbey had a nice dinner with the Fedyna family at their place.  This was probably one of the best days ever, and not just on the trip, but in recent memory.  Amanda’s dad was beyond generous, again in housing me probably longer than anyone should, and then as well, inviting my family over and making a terrific surf and turf meal yet.  I can’t remember a time seeing so many people in the same small place, having so much fun, and just being generally happy.  Especially us!  It was awesome.  I wish that my mom and brother would have still been there, to complete the presence of our family, and as well, Jen.  But, I know she was there with us still.  It was just awesome.  I can’t say enough about how special that night was, and how thankful I am too the Fedynas for making it happen.  What made the night even more special, was my grandpa and I having a race in the pool.  My grandpa is in terrific shape for his age (haha) but, he really is, it’s amazing.  He got up and snorkelled nearly every morning.  I snorkelled for about 3 seconds and hated it and vowed to never do it again.  He does it every day. So he is a terrific swimmer.  And, I am not a terrible swimmer, though it certainly isn’t graceful.  I do get to where I need to go pretty quickly in the water.  But, Grandpa thought I would have no chance against him in a race.  And, no one else really took my side either.  2 strangers watching in the pool decided to have a countdown for us, and were apparently betting.  I was pretty confident that I’d beat the man, so I suggested we throw some money down.  Well, much to his surprise and of the strangers husband, I was 50 dollars richer. Thanks Pa.  Nice try though.  I am still too young, and too athletic.  Despite my greek olympian-like figure.

Anywho.  As special as that night was, it concluded their holiday, and off too Victoria the three of them went in the AM.  But, it was an awesome 9 days spending half of that with my mom and Brody, and then more time with G&G and Abbey.  I loved it.  I missed them so much.

Amanda and I headed off too Honolulu together within the next couple of days.  Honolulu is probably one of my favourite cities I have ever been too.  Aside from the pure beauty of the place, the greenery, ocean, mountains…etc,  It’s just a really cool place.  The layout of the island is pretty neat, and the history is just amazing.  Of course, Pearl Harbour.  As well, the military feel too the city is something that I find so cool.  Driving around you’ll see different Air Force Bases, Naval Stations.  It’s awesome.  I love that stuff.  I know that the city is not all the peaches and cream that you see along Waikiki, and at the North Shore.  It can be a pretty tough city, and if I am not mistaking, I believe crime is pretty bad in Honolulu.  And if it isn’t, by the sounds of sirens, and the presence of police, you would never think otherwise.  But, I like Oahu too because it is just a real place.  As much as I like Maui, and some other places I have been.  They just don’t seem real.  To me, Honolulu is a real place.  It’s beautiful.  But, our 5 days in Oahu is coming to a halt here in the next 45 minutes or so as I will board my flight home, and Amanda has already taken off back to Maui to spend another couple weeks with her parents.  But, This has been an awesome trip.  We did a tonne within our 5 days here, Taking in the final round of the Sony Open, Spending probably too much time at the Ala Moana shopping centre, we did a drive around the island after stopping in at the dreadful Dole Plantation Farm.  We went through Haleiwa – Surf City USA, then checked out where the Banzai Pipeline action is, and the surf there was still pretty good.  About 8-10 feet. Then, we just continued driving along the shores till we made it back to Waikiki.  What a beautiful drive.  If I am fortunate enough to come back here, I am going to write off 2 days and just drive around, drive through the different towns and cities, check out the Hickam AFB and the Naval Stations, and again spend an entire day at Pearl Harbour.  I just love Honolulu.  I am sad too be leaving, but I am excited to get back to life, and get back with the Bisons, and see what lies ahead in 2013 for the kid!  Hopefully the year continues to be as great as it has been the last 15 days!

What the hell…. The massage chair beside me just randomly started going off, and no one is sitting in it, or has put any money in it.  Weird.  Thanks for reading!! Aloha!

Blair

@Blairlystang

 

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Early Loser Moment of 2013

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Further & Further into the Unknown

Flight Recorder from Viking 7

Well, Happy New Year to all.  So far 2013 has been rocking.  I have seen already crossed path with more celebrities then I have in any years previous…combined.  That been cool.  Maybe it is some kind of foreshadowing sign of my coming fame! I also enjoyed a few dark chocolate chunk cookies from Cookies By George.  Pretty Cool.  Anyone remember the first thing they ate in 2012? No. Probably not.  I don’t.  Hope everyone enjoyed a safe, and happy new year and concluded the holiday season with smiles, friends & families.

As I sit here on this Air Canada Airbus – En route to Hawaii for my annual vacation, and to start off this new calendar year.  Tough, I know.  I already told you. It’s been rocking!  As I was, I sit here, and first of all, I am absolutely freezing to death, and am puzzled as to why there can’t be even the slightest little bit of heat coming from this plane. I also sit here, thoroughly annoyed of the person who continually rifles off his “I need help right this second” beeper/light.  Whatever it is.  I have never in my life rang it, as I have always been patient, and trusting enough that the flight attendants will make there rounds in due time, and I will get whatever it is I need.  Though, maybe I should ring and get a blanket.  Nah, I don’t want to inconvenience anyone.  I’ll freeze. Some other people though. Clearly not. K seriously. The same guy has since rang it 5 times in the time it took me to type those few lines. I am starting to think it might just be an annoying child…  In a grown ups body.  I feel sorry for these flight attendants, I certainly could not deal with those people.  Actually, I could.  Here is how.  First, I would scan the situation, see if there is any need for first aid.  Hopefully there isn’t.  Then I would continually walk by the impatient prick, but in the opposite aisle (yes, big plane) and then, I would just continually antagonize the impatient murphy till he gave it a rest.  Kind of like my belief on crying babies.  Lock them in a room, and let em’ cry themselves to sleep.  Don’t worry. I am not a parent. Nor have any plans to ever become one. This is just how I deal with my brothers, Brody & Kyle.  13 & 21 respectively.  Still. Lock the babies in a room, they’ll cry themselves to sleep.   Haha.  Kidding bro’s!  Kind of.  Also, as I sit here on this plane.  I truly think I have the best seat on the entire air bus. Well, second.  Whoever the third person in the seat next to Dallas Green, and Leah Miller…  They might be the luckiest.  But, in terms of space.  I am right in the middle of the machine, and have a pair of seats to myself, with the window.  Across the small aisle is 3 seats, and only one person is in that! I debated whether or not she had the best seat, because she has 3 seats to herself, but then I looked out the window and saw the plane wing, and decided when we are landing in Maui, I will have the best seats as I check out the views.  She will… uhh, check me out while I check out the views.  Boom.   But yes, if you are still wondering about what I just briefly mentioned.  Dallas Green is about 25 rows ahead of me with his lovely looking wife, Leah.  Of course they flew fancy class, Which is cool. If I could, I would.  This is a long flight.  Fortunately, I got seats to my self.  But, seeing those 2 on this plane… Makes me wonder, Surely they have enough money between the two of them they are able to fly on there own, privately to Maui. Or, surely they have friends who can hook them up… Etc.  So, I am slightly puzzled as too why they choose charter.  I know nothing about flying private, so I don’t want to create much of an argument.  So, I will settle for the answer that I presume is the truth, they are flying charter, cause they just want to be normal.  Good for them. Good humble, Canadian kids.  Why can’t the rest be like the best.  Oh, also on this flight.  Mr. Mayor; Naheed Nenshi.  Not sure where he is sitting.  But, the man is somewhere on here. Just a plane of celebrities.  Dallas Green, Leah Miller, Naheed Nenshi……. Me; The Kid.

It was actually quite funny, I am about a big a fan of airports, as I am the Calgary Flames.  I absolutely hate airports. (And, the flames) Few things in life can stress me out like that of an airport.  And, I am not entirely sure why.  I have never really had any scares.  I am always organized, though in my own unique way.  I am always on time and prepared, and I have been on about 200 airplanes, so I know and understand the process.  But, still, it get’s to me.  Going through security, going through customs.  Holy piss.  What a stresser.  Once I get through customs, and security, which almost never do I beep; I am completely relieved.  Feel completely lighter, and relaxed. Then the vacation is on.  The reason I never am excited for vacations, is because I haven’t gone through security yet. Once I get through.  Party On Wayne!!!  Haha.  So, yes. I am walking to my gate, I always go there first just to see where I am going, so I am prepared, then I typically, enjoy a beer, a sandwich, or whatever, Starbucks.  This time, I walk into my boarding room, and I see Mr. Mayor Naheed Nenshi.  I know very, very little about him, and politics in general.  Other than he used to be a professor at MRU, while I was student, and of course, he is the Mayor of the city I live in, which, in itself, should be enough to make me have some interest in it.  But, no.  Though, Of any political figure, I do quite like Nenshi.  He has gone with the times, and is very social, personable, and I love how he utilizes social media.  I do appreciate that.  Being personable is a lost quality for people in positions of power.  However, Nenshi has stuck with it, and is always interacting with us Calgarians.  To me, that’s top notch, and he’ll continue to get my votes.  Any-who.  I was so excited that I saw the Mayor, even though, I have seen him around Calgary a few other times, including the Malcolm Gladwell show.  He’s probably the most famous person I have seen just chilling, other than maybe seeing the rock band P.O.D at LAX 10 years ago.  But, instead of going to talk to the man, and say hi.  I, a victim of this generation, decide to tweet him!  “Hey, @nenshi, have a good flight! I see you in the boarding room, got time for a beer?”  Yes. Creepy, I know.  I tweeted this, while he was maybe 15 seats away from me.  Haha.  Thinking I wouldn’t get a reply, within moments I have a reply.  “No beer for me, but please come and say hi!”  Oh shit.  Now what.  That was unexpected.  A logical person, would have, went and introduced themselves, and said hello.  But, then between thinking, I don’t really want to be that guy, and what would we talk about, I got all flustered and took a different seat.  A bigger, more luxurious seat, and began trying to collect myself.  Well, here comes the fucking knuckled! Sweet Bell Peppers.  Amidst, trying to collect my shit, and stop acting like a 11 year old girl who just saw Justin Bieber. I am buried nose deep into my phone, as per usual, and then, oh man, you know when you just feel someone looking at you,  Yea, I did.  So, I look up, and sweet crocodile rock, It’s fucking Dallas Green & his wife Leah Miller.  I am pretty sure, we made extremely awkward eye contact.  As I can guarantee as I saw them, I burnt a hole staring through them.  So, my loser moment of the year…took… all of 15 hours to happen.  Good one kid.  So, As I am trying to collect myself from being star struck by the Calgary Mayor, one of my favourite musicians; Dallas Green walks by.  Wow, the guy is beeping his “Help me” light again, constantly.  STOP IT. Anyways. I am a huge Dallas Green fan, I love City & Colour, right from his first album. I also enjoyed his band, or former now I suppose; Alexisonfire.  Especially their later stuff, where he had a much bigger hand in the vocals.  My sister was also a fan of Dallas Green, which adds sentimental value for me.  Also, I can remember when Leah Miller was a MM VJ, and I was just in love with her.  So, seeing these two, was pretty cool.  I never knew really if I would ever be a star-struck kind of person, cause I have never really had to find out.  Like I said, I haven’t seen many famous people, and the ones I have seen, I couldn’t care all that much about.  Until, now seeing someone that I do truly appreciate. Yep. I was starstruck.  I think I texted & tweeted everyone I knew, while, I stared at the two of them for ohh, I dunno, the next hour? Haha. Many times, I had to tell myself, deep breaths, they are only people bud. All the while, amongst this, I completely forgot about the mayor, who I was trying to collect myself so I could introduce myself.  I was fixated on the Greens. But then too, I wouldn’t talk to them, again, not wanting to be “that guy”.  Meanwhile, though, I tweeted something about having just seen him, and mentioned @cityandcolour, and then my girlfriend tweeted me, mentioning both him and I.  And, while I was still completely staring at them, He was on his phone quite a bit, and I wonder if he saw those string of tweets… And, thought, What the fuck. Haha.  The poor guy. Sorry. Awkward. So, yes.  Apparently I do get star struck, or at least did that time.  It completely threw me off guard! Not fair.  Oh, and then I instantly changed my iPod “Now Playing” playlist to that of City & Colour.  Haha. Loooooooosssser.

I will most likely get off this plane as fast as I possibly can, and will try and find a spot next to them at baggage claim, and again, not say a word, but just blatantly stare at them.

As I mentioned, Definitely my loser moment of 2013 already.  I don’t think I could surpass this in the next 300 & some days, even if I tried.  Maybe at some point in the next 4.5 hours of this flight, I will go up there and ask him if he wants the bag of peanuts I got.  I don’t know, maybe they don’t get those snacks in first class, and all the guy wants is a normal dudes baggy of salted airplane peanuts.  (I think I just surpassed my loser moment already)

I don’t even remember Jan 1/2012.  Jan 1/2013 has already been an absolutely hilarious, fun day.  Though it is only 7pm. Or, wait. No. I am somewhere in the air, so I have no clue of the time. But, lets hope today really is a sign of things to come for the new calendar year.

Happy New Year everyone, I hope the new year does bring you everything, or almost everything that you wish, and pray for, and most of all, I hope it brings you health, happiness and laughter.   Because, I know the entire world could use just a little bit more of each.

Thanks for reading goneawayboys

– Check me out on Twitter for a lighter, sharper, wittier, comical, arguing me! @BlairLystang

Reindeer Pajamas, Hot Chocolates, Holidays & Hell.

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Happy almost-holidays season everyone!  I know most of you are likely already in the full swing of things by now. Trees, lights, decorations.  All the glitter, and all the rest.  I know at our place there are a few too many snowmen, snow-penguins, snow-bears, snow-mooses…  And, pretty well every other morphed Christmas animal you can possibly think of.

While, I do enjoy Christmas.  Holidays are just never the same as they once were for me.  Especially Christmas. It’s typically an emotionally enduring time of the year.  As it is Christmas. It’s a special time of the year. But, ever since I’ve lost my sister, It’s never quite been the same. It’s hard. Actually, most holidays are just different now.  My birthday & Christmas are often the toughest.  And, that usually results in me being referred to as “the grinch” by my girlfriend.  But, it’s not that I hate the holidays, I most certainly do not.  But, maybe as some others can understand after your life changes drastically as a result of losing someone close… And, as I have mentioned before.  Nothing is ever again the same, and nothing is again as it easy as it once was.  Ever.  

Christmas used to be my favorite time of the year. I longed for it every day as soon it turned December 26th – I couldn’t wait for the next Christmas Day.  I think up until I was 15 or so.  My average of sleep on christmas eve was likely 3 hours. I could never sleep Christmas Eve.  Just way too excited.  Albeit, I was a kid.  A lot of it was, I just couldn’t wait to open up gifts, and get spoiled by my parents, grandparents and rest of my family.  Then, as I grew up, it became less about the gifts (while I still thoroughly enjoyed them, and still do now!) But, it became more about spending time with those close too me, that I may otherwise not be able to see as often as I would like.  As my sister lived in Victoria, we only were able to get together a few times a year.  Which… still haunts me today.

Anyway.  Christmas was always a special time because I got to spend it with Jen, my parents, my brother, and my grandparents.  I can remember just waking up in the morning, and being so excited to just hang out, throw gifts around and watch everyone else just enjoy being together.  This is exactly what Christmas is about. Family, laughing, and being in the company of those whom matter the most.  And, as you grow up, you realize this.  And I think that’s part of why Christmas now is a little bit more difficult. We are missing one.   I think too,  I had just really gotten myself to the point of truly realizing what Christmas is about, and then suddenly we were without Jen.  While, every day is difficult after a tragedy.  Some days are worse than others.  But, holidays.  They’re just never the same. Again.  As much as you try and fake it, make some kind of shitty attempt to place normalcy into your days, and into your Christmas festivities… It doesn’t matter.  It all just amounts to trying too hard in hoping to be able to fake it, get through, and continue on in our own world of denial.  Ultimately… Just making the days and the season all the more difficult.  Then, in turn, you just kind of float through the days.   Doing your best to completely avoid the traditions that make Christmas.  All the while, just feeling completely empty and emotionless. Raw.

Now, I should never complain, because my holidays seasons the last few years have been quite extravagant, and I have been extremely fortunate and lucky to have spent the last 2 in Hawaii.  And, while as great as Hawaii is, and I do get to go with some people that do mean the world too me.  The last couple Christmas that I have been in Hawaii, I have not been with my family.  Which is sometimes difficult because I know that holidays for them are never quite the same, either. So you want to be together to try and help them cope…But, I think, why I have enjoyed going to Hawaii so much the last few years, is not just because it’s Hawaii.  But, because it’s almost like… It’s… It’s not real.  It’s not Christmas.  Even though it may be December 25th… It’s +28, people are in shorts, the beach, the ocean, everything that goes with Hawaii.  It’s not what I have been accustomed too.  It’s not tradition. And, tradition is easier to avoid. And, the other part that has made the past few I think… manageable, maybe, is I haven’t been with my family.  I’ve been with people that Christmas to them is as normal as it should be. As much as I try, and I think my family does as well to instill normalcy into our lives, like I said, we sometimes just try too hard and make it worse.  So, the last few, while I have thought about Jen a tonne.  It’s never really been talked about, or apart of the “Christmas Celebration” except in my own head, I guess.  Because, I have been by myself, and with my girlfriends family.  But, Christmas has been manageable, ultimately, because, I have ran away from what has made it so difficult in the past.

But, I know that I can’t go on like this forever, because, it is the holidays, and at some point I need to enjoy them as much as I once did, or, at the very least, make some sort of attempt to do so. While I also need to stop running away from the problem.   And, I think this year I am going to have an opportunity to do so.  While, in stages.  I think what is different this year, and is going to allow me to possibly cope with this season is, I have come to terms with my own mental illness, and I think I have maybe, finally accepted that Jen is gone.  And, she is never coming back…..As hard as that is to admit.  It’s reality. And, I think, I have finally realized that.  Despite how hard I sometimes try to bring her back.

She isn’t. 

Also, on Christmas day, this year;  I will be at home, in Calgary.  While, away from my family still, and likely just myself at home.  I will see again what Christmas is, and I think being right-square in the middle of the lights, the snow, just that aura of Christmas, that you don’t find in Maui.   I think that is going to be Step 1 of coping, and attempting normalcy these holidays.  Step 2. I leave to Hawaii ( as per usual ) on Jan. 1. However, different this year is my mom, my grandma, grandpa, brother and my niece Abbey (Jen’s daughter) will all be there.   Our family will finally be back together for Christmas.  Missing Jen but, I know that she will be there.   I get to spend the holidays with my family again…  And, in an environment to me, that just isn’t “holiday real”  – Just as I like, and for now, need. But, we are all going to be there together.  Going through it.  Together.

December through January isn’t the same for anyone in my family anymore.  And, instead of running away from the process, we will finally be able to go at it in unison once again.  Which, I am thoroughly excited for.  It’s still going to be different, and always will be.  And, maybe I am still partially running away from this by going to Maui. But, I am entirely fine with that.  So, in stages I hope to be able to enjoy a Christmas holiday season as close to normal as I possibly ever can.  Just without the tree, pajama pants, hot chocolates and christmas themed wrapped gifts.  I am not ready for that yet.

I know it will never be the same as it was.  No matter how hard I try.  I am just excited to be able to do it together, with my mom, my grandparents, Brody & Abbey.  Our way of coping with Christmas… Is too run away from it, but I am happy that we have decided to finally do this together.

Some people I am sure probably don’t, and won’t understand why we continue to run away during the holidays.  Some argue it’s the best time to be in Alberta.  Sure.  But, like I said… It’s different for us.  Remember in my last blog, or a few blogs back I mentioned the feeling I had driving to my sister’s funeral in Victoria.  I’d just expected the entire world to stop.  And, when I drove to the church, and saw people getting their mail, walking their dogs, having coffee and laughing.  It fucking pissed me off.  I just couldn’t believe people were getting on with their lives.   My world has just halted, instantly.  And, I expected everyone elses did too.  How could they continue?  But, really, of course people are going to get on with their lives.  It didn’t happen to them, but still, I couldn’t believe it.  That’s exactly how Christmas is for me now.  We used to always gather at the decorated Christmas tree in the living room, while in our pajamas, enjoying a coffee, hot chocolate,  or an orange juice…Whatever it was.  We’d sit there in our pajamas and throw gifts to each other, celebrate and embrace. We did Christmas. We did it right.  All of us.  Now… I just can’t do it. I can’t do tradition.  During Christmas I always get that same feeling I had en route to Jen’s funeral.  I, for some reason, just can’t imagine people doing what we used too, doing what you’re supposed to do.  I can’t fathom it.  And, I don’t want to see it.  Just like I didn’t want too see that man walking his dog that morning.  It’s doesn’t seem real.  It’s hard.  So, I leave so I can avoid it. Christmas is different.

That said, I am certainly not the grinch, as some of you might conclude after reading this.  I still enjoy the holidays. And, I wish nothing but the best too everyone else during them.  Actually, I wish more than that.  I hope that you thoroughly enjoy that time around the tree tossing gifts to one another. Having that mocha or hot chocolate with your brother and/or sister in your pajama pants decorated with reindeer and Santa’s. Please enjoy this moment.  This is what it is about.  Enjoy it the most. It may, now seem trivial, and “just part of it”. But, trust me.  It isn’t.  It’s more than that.  Because, you never know if you will be able to have this special opportunity again.  So, please.  Enjoy Christmas. Be grateful, and understand what it truly is about.  Family.  Not the cash that you get. Not the toys.  It’s your family.  And it’s that one really special time of the year.  So, while, I run away to the tropics to avoid tradition.  I urge all of you to run to the tree, with your brothers and sisters, Even if you see them every single day, and scrap for the majority of those days. Please, for me, soak it all in. Enjoy Christmas. Because, this is what I miss the most, and I will never get back. Enjoy one for me. 

– Happy Holidays too all of my readers!